Erika Gibson

2012-03-24 00:00

JACK is one of three dogs being trained not only to pick up the trail of rhino poachers, but also to protect their handlers if they are threatened.

Public donations are paying for the training. The organisation Stop Rhino Poaching (SRP) will soon place Jack, a Belgian shepherd, in one of the country’s key reserves at risk from poaching.

After unique and intensive training, the dogs will be able to sniff out concealed weapons and ammunition, as well as signs of rhino horn.

SRP began raising money for Jack’s training in February and had enough donations within a month. Two other trained dogs will follow close on his heels.

Allister Gibbons of Mechem, a division of Denel, said the arms company donated Jack as a young dog. The other two will also come from Denel. They are full grown and are on a reserve near Middelburg, getting used to being around wild animals.

The dogs are trained to raise their tails when they pick up a strong trail. If there are animals in the area, they will lift their left ears and if poachers are near they will raise their hackles.

The dogs are trained to walk ahead of their handlers, so they draw the attention of a poacher first, giving the handler time to react — in effect, acting as early warning signals.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.